Gleason Barn

Tag Archives: Harvest 2011



Harvest is Over. What’s Next?

on December 7, 2011

Now that the vines are starting to enter dormancy, my crew and I can breathe a sigh of relief and close the book on 2011. Whew!

You may ask yourself, what’s next? What does a vineyard crew do in December? In short, we start preparing for the pruning season that will begin in January. We lower wires on the trellis system so we can easily remove the old grape material as we prune. We also spend a fair amount of time working on our procedures, revising them, writing new guidelines and thinking of new strategies for the coming season. Before we know it, January will have arrived and it will be time to start pruning.

Think of me and my crew as we brave the cold temperatures and drying winds this winter. We won’t complain, because we love it out there.

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A Winemaker’s Thanksgiving

on November 9, 2011

How does a winemaker celebrate Thanksgiving? We asked our winemaker Darice Spinelli to get the inside track. Well, we won’t keep you in suspense—Darice doesn’t know what she will bring to the holiday table yet. “Honestly, 2011 is the only vintage I’m thinking about right now,” she says, laughing. “I’ll bring Nickel & Nickel, Far Niente and Dolce with me for sure.” With that selection, she can’t go wrong, never mind the vintage.

But before the big dinner, she and her family will converge at the local park for the Turkey Bowl, where neighbors battle it out each year in football. Now that the kids are teenagers, the games are rougher than they used to be. “We all take Ibuprofen two hours before the game!” she says.

Football and a meal with family sounds wonderful to us, and no matter how you choose to celebrate the coming holiday, may you find Nickel & Nickel in your glass.

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Tasting Vintage 2011

on November 2, 2011

We have been pressing off the Cabernets. It isn’t to make room for more as all of the grapes are safely in the barns.

Right now, the wines are finishing fermentation. Tasting them isn’t easy as our palates deal with “spritzyness” and the last of the residual sugar. However, while the vineyards had extremely low yields this year and it was a very cool season, the results are showing lovely structure, classic proportions, and tannins that are gentle and graceful.

Darice and I both see these as very pretty wines that are likely going to be prized for their elegance and length. This is a huge relief given the scare that we got from the storms during harvest.

The nice thing is cleaning up, putting away the crusher and catching up on some overdue sleep before the end of daylight savings time.

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Au Revoir, Harvest 2011!

on October 27, 2011

It’s been a very busy last few weeks for our winemaking team. Harvest arrived fast and furious and this past Monday, we brought in the last of it—Cabernet from the C.C. Ranch and Kelham vineyards. Whew! But just because harvest has finished, it doesn’t mean the work is done, and there’s still a long way to go before we share the fruits of our labor with you.

There are several distinctive things about the 2011 harvest. Dirk Hampson, Director of Winemaking, says this Nickel & Nickel vintage is marked by small yields and a very rapid harvest (everything came in in a couple of weeks!) The juice is now going through fermentation and, Dirk reports, the perfume and balance of the vintage look quite promising.

Winemaker Darice Spinelli adds that there wasn’t a pattern to the ripening this year and, interestingly enough, various blocks from C.C. Ranch were among the first and last to be harvested. She notes that she will be moving the Cabernets to barrel within the next couple of weeks, and so the hard work continues.

We’re looking forward to tasting these wines with you at our annual Futures event. Mark your calendars for Saturday, May 12, 2012.

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